Every other day, scientists discover something new and surprising about space. This time, it’s about Saturn. Saturn is already one of the most talked about planets because of its rings that makes it very unique. Recently, scientists found something that left them scratching their heads. Saturn’s rings are heating its atmosphere according to scientists. They also said that they had never seen anything like it before.

Image Source: NASA Space Explorer

Sometimes, the most surprising things are right in front of you. The secret had been right in front of them for more than 4 decades but scientists couldn’t see it earlier. A NASA representative said, “The secret has been hiding in plain view for 40 years. But it took the insight of a veteran astronomer to pull it all together within a year, using observations of Saturn from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and retired Cassini probe, in addition to the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft and the retired International Ultraviolet Explorer mission.” 

The Discovery 

According to the study, the upper atmosphere of Saturn is being heated up by its extensive ring system. Scientists say this is something they have never witnessed before. This was unforeseen and unexpected. But now that it has happened it has the potential to serve as a means of determining whether other planets outside our solar system have similarly impressive ring systems like Saturn’s. And if yes then where do the possibilities end?

Scientifically speaking, researchers believe that this is happening because of vast amounts of ultraviolet radiation which appears as a spectral line of hot hydrogen in Saturn’s atmosphere.“The bump in radiation means that something is contaminating and heating the upper atmosphere from the outside.” says Nasa.

They believe that the most plausible cause for this occurrence is the icy ring particles raining down onto Saturn’s atmosphere causing this heating. This could be because of micrometeorites, solar wind particle bombardment, solar ultraviolet radiation, or electromagnetic forces picking up electrically charged dust.

What do you think about the amazing new discovery of Saturn? Let us know in the comments below.

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